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Bill to crack down on credit card "skimming" devices heads to governor

Nov 7, 2017

It could soon get harder for criminals to insert credit and debit card skimming devices into gas pumps in Michigan. These are devices criminals use to remotely steal customers' card information.

A bill (S.B. 415) has cleared both the state House and Senate that would require gas station owners to install at least one of several security measures on gas pumps to thwart these skimming devices.

"Psychologically, the stress is huge when somebody violates your credit card information and uses it fraudulently," said Senator Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City. "So we're just trying to protect Michigan consumers."

"The security measures could be anything from changing out the electronics, to just changing out the lock on the gasoline pump, to a security sticker," said Schmidt.

According to Schmidt, the cost of complying can be modest. He said while changing electronics is the most expensive method, a roll of security stickers is only about $20-$30, and the cost of changing the lock on a gas pump is about $10 per pump. 

"We did this in response to a number of instances in the last couple of years with credit cards being stolen because of these skimmers," Schmidt said.

Approximately 82 of these devices have been found in Michigan since 2015, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

"The feds will require [security measures on gas pumps] in approximately four years," said Schmidt. "But this speeds up the timetable here in Michigan."

Schmidt said all indications are that Governor Snyder will sign the legislation.